Shadow Warrior by Layla Chase, Delilah Devlin, Betty Hanawa & Myla Jackson
Knights of the Magical Realm
Triskelion Publishing
Contemporary / Shape shifting
ISBN: 1-933874-49-X
Reviewed by Jo

 

 

Shape shifters are born - right.  But what if science figured out a way to make the perfect shifter and what if madmen got that knowledge and was determined to use it for their own ends?

Cougar by Layla Chase

Kol Thorstein has taken an extended leave from his Special Forces unit.  He has been having odd black outs and memory lapses since he was rescued from captivity.  Kol knows that if he canít control it or find the solution, he will kicked out.  Zoia Stavros is a private investigator sent to track down a soldier that has disappeared.  Zoia finds Kol with little trouble and after meeting him begins to wonder about the story her client gave her.  Kol and Zoia figure out his problem and almost instantly understand just how much danger they could be in. 

Cougar brings together a highly trained Special Forces soldier and an up and coming PI who face a problem that could get them both killed.  Zoia has a lot of experience with the post-traumatic symptoms and is determine to help Kol.  Kol is wondering if he has come down with post-traumatic stress disorder after his release.  Kola and Zoia are wrong about the problem but together they begin the journey to face down their enemies.  Cougar brings you right into the story and the entire book.  After finishing I was very happy to be able to go on to the next.  Ms. Chase was very successful in setting the hook and I couldnít wait to get to Zoia and Kolís ending. 

 

Jaguarondi by Betty Hanawa

Dylan Gomez has recently been forced out of the Service and the Special Forces because of the blackouts he suffers from.  These blackouts are very new to him and the worse part is he canít remember and always wakes up naked.  Today is no different, well it is a bit as he is in a cage and a strange woman is standing over him demanding answers.  Haley Lundberg works in Wildlife Control Management and is surprised to find a man has replaced the Jaguarondi in her cage.  Haley might be a civilian now, but for a while she was in the service and part of an elite womanís force.  Haley and Dylan are both shocked to see him shift back and forth between a man and a Jaguarondi - now the question is who did it and why.  Dylan is pissed and going to find out but not alone because no way is Hayley going to let him go on his own.  Such begins their journey to danger and discovery.

Jaguarondi has two levelheaded ex-service specialists trying to wrap their minds around something out of fantasy.  Haley knows that she canít ignore what she has on film and besides she doesnít want to ignore sexy Dylan anyway.  Dylan is in total denial until Haley finds a way to make him remember one of his blackouts.  Knowing that no one should every mess with free will, Haley and Dylan are determined to locate who changed Dylan and where it was done.  I loved the full steam ahead and donít mess with us attitude of Haley and Dylan.  It was so interesting seeing two logical people trying to put logic towards a fantastic problem.  Again Jaguarondi pulled me in even more and I finished the story wondering where my journey was going to take me. 

 

Black Panther by Myla Jackson

Ramon Osceola has retreated to his island home to bring himself back under control.  He has no idea what was done to him while being held captive, but it was enough for the military to retire him almost immediately after his rescue.  Hannah Richards is on the run and isnít quite sure who she is running to.  Hannah is a doctor who was blackmailed into doing scientific experiments on several men.  She knows that her reception might be deadly when she admits who she is and what she has to offer.  Ramon and Hannah connect right away but the feelings of passion are edged with rage to begin with.  However Ramon canít turn Hannah away after he discovers why Hannah did it.  They start a dangerous trip of rescue and revenge.

Black Panther places a very pissed panther in very close and personal contact with his doctor.  Ramon knows he was given the ability to shift into a Panther but he isnít sure why or who exactly was behind it.  Hannah has wanted Ramon since he was one of her subjects and now she must face his anger and request his help.  Ramon and Hannah work their way from rage and desperation into passion while tracking down the person behind the experiments.  The emotions that were written into Black Panther leaped off of the pages.  The surprises for Ramon and Hannah kept me turning the pages.  Another wonderful story in a great book.

 

White Tiger by Delilah Devlin

Casey McTaggert is a data gatherer in a secret government agency.  She has been tracking the double agent known as the ďTigerĒ for several years and when it became clear he was in the US she was determine to get to him.  However she is amazed to find out that the ďTigerĒ is actually a White tiger shifter.  Khalid Razeh has been an unknown double agent for years and has stayed out of the states for a long time.  He was held captive with several other men, however he was the only one the group who is not American.  Khalid knows that he has to find the solution before he is used as a scapegoat.  Casey and Kahlid never expected the passion that pulled them together.  Casey knows even better than Khalid what the danger is they are facing and who is actually behind everything.

In White Tiger you find out that sometimes the government can be fooled but not totally ticked.  Casey had access to enormous amounts of data that until she meets Khalid doesnít come together in her mind.  Khalid knows his life could be in danger if he doesnít get to the bottom of why he was changed.  Casey and Khalid join forces to solve the mystery despite the danger they both will face.  I was so happy to find that they were joined by the others for the showdown.  Casey is able to gather all the pieces of her data together to help Khalid just when it matters the most.  Ms. Devlin took two characters that should not have been able to come together and not only made it work, but made it seamless. 

 

Shadow Warrior has four outstanding stories that intertwine so well that I actually forgot I was reading 4 stories by different authors.  I found the entire plot line just different enough that it captured my attention right away.  I actually did not want to put it down when I had to and picked it up as soon as I could to finish it.  There is not one story that I can say stood out to me more than the rest, which is why I loved the entire anthology and kept forgetting it was an anthology.  My only wish was that the ending was extended just a bit more so that I could have seen the final showdown.

Shadow Warrior to me is a must read and one I know I will come back to again and again.  There are very few anthologies in which I actually forget that Iím reading a collection of stories by different authors, Shadow Warrior is one and so well done that I not only recommend it highly, but I Joyfully Recommend it.  Enjoy it - I know you will.

     

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